Wednesday, March 31

Small Town Plays


They see actors, yessssss
Acting out characters they met
Many times before. They've seen
Scrooge, and Wendy's rubied toes,
They recognize clearly the little
orphan Annie, Anne Frank, 
 Romeo and Cinderella.

They see actors, yessssss
But actors they've seen before
Seen play the Panthers on the court last week
Seen grow from 3 foot 4 to 6 foot 3
From chests flat to biblical curves
From boys and girls climbing trees
To climbing the seats in backs of cars
And corners of basements.

And the actors perform for their audience, yesss....
An audience that's dark against the hot
spotlights in their eyes, mere shadows,
bespectacled, glaring back at them in
anticipation, emotions ready for whatever
the commanding actors demand of them,
strangers in a strange sea of seats.

The actors perform for that audience, yessss....
But an audience they've seen before,
Seen shake their hand after they beat the Panthers,
Seen drive them around and package them lunches,
Seen grow from blonde to brown to cinnaberry,
From fit to fat, from smooth to wrinkles.
From worrying about the heights of trees
To the depths of seats in backs of cars
And basements.

Tuesday, March 30

Why I Hate Jobs

Because now we don't farm for a living, we starve our souls.
Because now we don't sweat in the sun, we freeze in the air conditioning.
Because now we don't sing spirituals together in pain, but make our mouths smile to elevator music.
Because now we don't drink fresh-sqeezed lemonade on porches for our break, but bottomless bottles of bitter liquor in tinted windowed bars.


Saturday, March 27

England's Dry Cider Strongbow

And who says that a bit of aged cider can't be good for the heart???
I tell you, I'd go mad if I didn't have something funny to be around...
And though my large Irish husband isn't really English and isn't really
five point zero percent alcohol, who wants to be that anyways???? ?
And well he isn't really Irish. Though once we are buying firewood in
A small northwestern gas station slash "convenience store" (what   an
Oxymoran in the rural forests of Washington) when all of a     sudden
He opens the door at the same time another red headed bearded man
Reaches for that same handle (awkwardly) and stops short  and  waits
And Ben says "Oh thank you" and the man nods and says in his rural
Accent "For an Irishman".

Ben walks out and he walks in, pretending to be Irish. Spiritus Sanctus.


Originally uploaded by gratro78
Skiing. A nice photo of Ben and me.
Sorry it's not a poem. ; )

Wednesday, March 24


A piddly this a piddly that
You wear your dress, I"ll wear your hat
And rendezvous with Suits and Sue
A piddly poo a piddly you.

You try and you trill, a triddly dill
But wriddly wriddly wrongidly spill
You stupidly stupidly step on your hat
You riddly rattily rattily rat.

I'll wear the dress, and you wear that hat
Who cares about that, you sneakily snat!
You curse and you cry you criddily crat,
you sneaky and criddily crattily brat!

A pity on you and pity on me
For piddily piddily pityingye
And snappity snap your stupidy stupe
And rippity dressity hattily paddily wattily rattilly piddly poop!

Job Searching the Abyss

I can wade through all the options
Storm through all the brains
I can hold my breath and swim

But the water isn't water
and the storms are only drops
And I dip into thick sands

I can climb down into options
Lower myself into the caves
I can spalunk into that dark

But the climbing isn't down
And the top is very far
And there's no dark to look for light

There aren't any options
And there aren't any jobs
There's no sense in looking

For something not there.

Saturday, March 20

Show and Tell

I wish to have a show and tell party.
Each friend brings a creation to share.

One can bring a poem or two,
serious or funny, or both.

One can show his paintings,
drawings, artist's delight.

One can bake or cook a snack
and explain why it was chosen.

One can build an polish a stool
with rusty nails and recycled wood.

One can share a secret.
One a true confession.

One could tell a story
or read one from a book.

One could make a short film,
or act out a soliloquy.

One could even preach a sermon
so passionate and striving.

One could stand-up-comedy
One could sing a song.

And in the end we'd take a vote
and two would be the winners
For favorite show-and-tell
one serious, one fun,
And some small prize would be given.

Wednesday, March 10

Breathing Water

A wave immerses me, covers my head
My toes are drenched, I more than dipped
Into this asthma of the soul ----
I gasp for breath as iron lead
Swallows my lungs, esophagus, my lips,
The air that opens a black hole.

I try to think of things to come
Of springtime sun on trees and sprouts
And gardening flowers and baking bread,
But Present worries are my home
With snow in April amidst my doubts,
In place of flowers, ice instead.

Singing is my thermomater
It tells me when I'm up and down,
Singing sweet tunes or silencing them.
I look to song as lips to water,
In sweet music, myself I drown.
My parched soul drinking from the den.

Can I, may I, find rest, or peace?
(What are those words anyways!)
Consolation only comes---
When all is buried underneath
And years are gone, and past are days.
All will be done, when we are home.

Monday, March 8

Ethics vs Art; The Moral vs the Mystic


Ethics:  the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.

Art: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

The Moral: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.

The Mystic:  involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, as certain religious ceremonies and art; spiritually significant; ethereal.

I often see those ethically inspired neglect to see the importance of the Arts.  (As if everyone could actually have life if their base needs were satisfied ; food, water, health, shelter, clothing etc.)  We know very well that those clothed and overfed and over-sheltered and in perfect health often have no life at all, often even take their lives. 
I propose that a life lived in pursuit of ethical goals based on numbers, statistics, mass production, and mere financial assistance/support are actually goals that are contributing to the West's apathy, despair, feelings of helplessness, and bitterness- even suicide.

I also propose that a life lived in pursuit of the Arts and of expression of one's own art, while still maintaining a life of generosity toward the people directly in one's life and an eye open and aware to those who should potentially enter into that sphere on a daily basis, will lead lives of spiritual enrichment, purpose, committed helpfulness, and genuine joy- a gratefulness for one's time on this earth filled with wonder and awe, inevitably being contagious to those around and truly showing what (insert )can do for each person within and despite any circumstance this world throws at us. 
never to be continued......

Saturday, March 6

One Night

Life fell upon me like death by the guillotine.
It happened in an instant,
all at once.
And no matter how much you prepare yourself
for that inevitable moment,
-- it is always still unexpected.
"Can I really die?" the head asks the sharp blade above its plane.
"Can I really live?"

Kitchens are no place for connections
The living room connects:
The TV, the commercials, all the couches facing out
and away from each other,
all the faces sitting on the couches
consequently doing the same.

But kitchens are meant for cooking and washing and cleaning and baking.
There's no where to sit and nothing to watch.
There's really nothing you can do but stand in a corner.

This, of course, is a good thing...
because inevitably,
each person will be standing in a corner, four different corners,
and then the corners of the new corners formed from the people standing in the corners
will now be filled and
Lo! and Behold!
A circle is formed.
And people are now standing facing one another
with a drink in hand
and a story being told
or a joke being laughed at
or many stories and jokes and memories, each facing each.

And the part I wait for, the part I know is on its way upon that circle being formed
is the filet mignon of the conversation.
The small carved out piece
found for only a moment or two, or longer, but to get there one must carve through the fat
and the bones
and all the other insides
that are necessary for such a piece, such a bite.

And what a bite it is.

I wait.

And when it comes, I chew slowly,
but eagerly,

so as not to miss a single moment.
I taste it, swallow it all up.

Like a painter who needs no words to think, who dreams only images,
so too must the conversation remain in images and imagination made real.
Like the painter who mixes his pallet and moves the ground
the earth
the element onto a pallet
to mix and mix and to be mixed
with more earth to be moved around and swept up
by the lowly brush to move that very earth onto the canvas,
being a great Mover who merely transports
pieces from one place to the other in a grand display
of artistry and creativity and expression and
spirit (If I may):

the moment is physical.  tangible.
the movement of dust and bones into Life.
A Life that is suddenly displayed by some great Mover,
pushing itself upon you,
like a guillotine that falls just in time to put your head back on.

Friday, March 5

Communion: I cannot eat crackers and drink grape juice with spiritual purpose

Everything freezes.  Implodes, folds in on itself, PAUSE> ...........................................

I should have gone. I should have stayed home. I should have not grumbled and complained. I should have baked a cake and sliced into 20 pieces to be equally shared as a secret communion with others, their unawares of it makes it even that much more an experience of spiritual connection without anyone really even acknolwedging it---------a subtle twinkle inside each's bones, a small earthquake inside, that settles deep down within and lies there tucking itself into whtever bed it falls asleep on and says, "That was good night."

The body and the blood, "whenever you eat of the body, whenever you drink of the blood".  In such a way I pollinate my love in a physical way, and unnoticeable way, but a very very tangible real physical way.  I am do not particularly like human touch.....but the touching I feel is of utter importance. And the physical touching that I pour into the batter as I stir and sift and whisk and pour and slice and frost and serve is extracted from that Body and the touch from mine has been consumed by someone who now partakes in me.  And just as the body needs the blood, so does the bread need the wine, or chocolate stout cake or a raspberry almond torte need the Sauvignon or a Guinness. 

to be continued....